Oct 1, 1989

Effects of combined lead and cadmium exposure: changes in schedule-controlled responding and in dopamine, serotonin, and their metabolites

Behavioral Neuroscience
J R NationG R Bratton


Adult male rats were maintained on 1 of 4 ad-lib diets: Group Control-Diet received a normal laboratory diet that contained no added chemicals: Group Lead-Diet received a diet containing 500 ppm (parts per million) lead: Group Cadmium-Diet received a diet containing 100 ppm cadmium: and Group Lead-Cadmium-Diet received a diet containing both 500 ppm lead and 100 ppm cadmium. After 60 days of exposure to their respective diets, animals were placed on restricted diets (15 g/day) of the identical food received during the exposure period. Each animal was trained to lever press on a fixed-interval 1-min schedule for 21 sessions (1 session day). The results of schedule training showed that lead alone or cadmium alone was associated with increased lever pressing relative to control diet. However, when lead and cadmium were exposed jointly, performance was not significantly different from control performance. Similar attenuation of effects were observed for central neurotransmitter functions. Specifically disturbances in dopamine and serotonin turnover that were produced by lead alone were attenuated by the cotreatment of cadmium and lead. Possible accounts of the apparent antagonism between cadmium and lead are discussed.

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Appetitive Behavior
Receptors, Tryptamine
3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid, Monosodium Salt
Mental Recall
Serotonin Syndrome
Dopamine Receptor
Reinforcement Schedule
Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid

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